Tuesday, 06 April 2021 12:54

COG, MOH AND NACC ROUNDTABLE MEETING

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The Council of Governors held a three-day joint meeting from 23rd February 2021 with County Executive Officers for health, Ministry of Health and the National AIDS Control Council (NACC) to discuss the status of the HIV/AIDs program implementation in the counties.
During the meeting, an analysis of the status of the HIV/AIDS program in the counties was presented and it revealed major gaps in the roll-out of the program. Prevalence estimates by counties indicated the geographical variability of the HIV burden across the country — ranging from a low of 2.0% to a high of 27.1%. Based on these estimates, 10 counties were identified as those with the highest prevalence accounting for about 65% of the HIV burden. This therefore meant that there is critical need to take into account these variations when developing interventions to ensure they are targeted, relevant and suitable for each county. Further, stakeholders should leverage on existing resources while engaging in resource mobilization activities to ensure that no county is left behind in curbing the spread of HIV/AIDS. The second hurdle faced in the program implementation is the supply and accessibility of commodities for HIV drugs. Out of the 1.2 million people currently living with HIV/AIDS in Kenya, a good number of them still lack access to antiretroviral drugs. County Governments need to enforce tighter measures to ascertain that there is an adequate supply of the drugs. One of these measures is coming up with policies or legislation that can guide the distribution modalities of antiretroviral drugs to avert the shortage in the counties.
On partnerships, devolved units can widen their resource pool by seeking partners for the HIV/AIDs program. These partners can also offer useful insights on how to utilise partner resources and non-budgeted funds according to county needs. In addition, counties should not tire from advocating for increased local funding for healthcare to support donor efforts. County Governments should ensure more rigorous advocacy efforts have been put in place.
Counties have demonstrated great commitment to providing an enabling legal, social and policy environment to facilitate the implementation of the HIV/AIDS program. Adopting a strategic multi-sectoral approach and actively involving all stakeholders in the health conversation, will not only improve counties’ HIV/AIDs response and prevention mechanisms but also enhance the delivery of health services to the ‘mwananchi’ at the grassroots.
The meeting also discussed the Managed Equipment Services (MES) program which seeks to equip hospitals with state-of-the-art medical equipment and ultimately, improve the quality of healthcare services. A select team consisting of National and County Government officials is expected to conduct an assessment of the MES program. All CECs were therefore encouraged to provide all the relevant information to the team which would be visiting individual member Counties for the overall review of the program.

The three days meeting ended with the County Executive Committee Members of health Caucus electing a new leadership to replace the old guard. The new leadership of the County Executive Committee members of health elected. Dr. Joseph Mbai of Murang’a County was elected as the new chair, deputised by Prof. Richard Muga of Homa Bay County. Ms. Clare Wanyama of Trans Nzoia County was elected as the Secretary General, while Dr. Mahamud Edda of Mandera County took up the Vice Secretary’s position and Dr. Lenai Kamario from Laikipia County assumed the treasurer's position.

 

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